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Two organizations investors should know about

Richard Loth

If you want to improve your investing know-how, there are numerous educational resources you can tap. I’d like to recommend two membership organizations, which you may not know about.I’ve been a member of the American Association of Individual Investors, or AAII, and the National Association of Investors Corporation – NAIC – since the early 1980s. Both of these organizations do an excellent job of providing a wide array of investment products and services that can be extremely useful to individual investors.No matter your level of investment experience and expertise, you’ll get a big return from a modest investment of time and money by becoming a member of either AAII or NAIC, which are profiled below. American Association of Individual Investors625 N. Michigan AvenueChicago, IL 60611(312)280-0170 AAII was founded in 1978 as a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to “assisting individuals in becoming effective managers of their own assets through programs of education, information and research.” You can obtain a free eight-page member guide from AAII that describes the package of investment tools and services that are available for an annual subscription of just $49. I’ll briefly describe here those items that come with the basic membership:- “The AII Journal”: A 40-page/10-issue publication that provides practical information and how-to articles on investing for individuals. Periodically, it includes special features such as the one on “Top Investment Web Sites,” which I wrote about in my Oct. 14 column.- Publications: “Guide to Dividend Reinvestment Plans,” “Guide to Top Mutual Funds” and the “Personal Tax & Financial Planning Guide.” AAII Portfolios: A series of model stock portfolios developed and “managed” by AAII. For example, the “AAII’s Beginner’s Portfolio” is a real-life portfolio that is also used as a teaching tool for the less-experienced investor.- Web site: You have unlimited access to AAII’s members-only site (www.aaii.com), which has an abundance of very useful features for individual investors.- Use AAII’s toll-free number – 800-428-2244 – to inquire about membership and, if appropriate, to talk to a staff member. National Association of Investors CorporationP.O. Box 220Royal Oak, MI 48068(248) 583-6242 NAIC was created in 1951 and is best known as a sponsor and promoter of investment clubs. However, you need not be part of an investment club to enjoy the organization’s investment education benefits. I’ve been an individual member – $50 annually – of NAIC since 1983.Among others, here are some of what an NAIC individual membership includes:- “Better Investing Magazine”: Published monthly, it is an excellent how-to guide to both stock and mutual-fund investing for individuals who want to learn about becoming successful investors. NAIC’s online “Bits Magazine” performs a similar function for computer-oriented investors.- Low Cost Investment Plan: Allows individuals to purchase shares of stock cost effectively and build a diversified portfolio with low monthly payments. This program is a great way to get children involved in the investment process by making it a family-activity.- Publications: Stock and mutual fund selection handbooks and tool kits – these educational guides are slanted toward helping the beginning investor.- Web site: NAIC’s site (www.better-investing.org) has a variety of useful features focusing on investment education. A premium feature – $35 for individual members – provides, among other benefits, access to NAIC’s Mutual Fund Education and Resource Center, which is one of the best research and information sources around.Use NAIC’s toll-free number – 877-275-6242, ext. 520 – to obtain a membership information packet. If you’re taking a life-time approach to securing your financial future, I’d highly recommend that you seriously consider a membership in one or both of these investor-friendly organizations.The Investing Wisely column is written by Richard Loth, managing principal of Mentor Investing, an independent registered investment adviser. Loth can be reached at 827-5591 or mentorinvesting@comcast.net.Vail, Colorado


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